Another Heron hacked

4th March 2014 – 5.27 pm

New gas and a relic site don't interest me at home, and neither does a tower and lack of ships in our neighbouring system. Neither result really surprises me, though. It's far from common to come on-line at the same time a fleet is raiding our home system, and outbound connections rarely provide opportunities any more. I mostly use our class 3 w-space neighbour as a bridge to look for further wormholes. Today is no exception, so I warp out, launch probes, and start scanning the three anomalies and eight signatures.

All the signatures in the system are pretty chubby, making scanning quick and easy. Gas is ignored, three wormholes resolved. It looks like I have options, but the U210 isn't one of them, the static exit to low-sec empire space being at the end of its life. A K162 from high-sec is healthy but relatively dull, leaving just a K162 from low-sec to finish a disappointing collection of wormholes. Never mind, I'll see what I can do with what I've been given.

Poking out to high-sec first, getting a safety route home, puts me in Metropolis with one other signature that can be checked if I get suitably bored elsewhere. Pure curiosity takes me through the dying wormhole to Exit in Genesis, another visit close to New Eden. It's a shame I can't stay. Now back to C3a and out of the low-sec K162, the reflected nebula on approach looking the same as a wormhole from yesterday, recognisable as Essence. Faction warfare Essence too. I ignore the trio of pilots in the system and launch probes to scan the three additional signatures.

Scanning bags me a K162 from class 1 w-space, a relic site, and a K162 from class 3 w-space. That's a decent result, but before returning to w-space is that a Heron I see hacking? Yes, yes it is. Warping to the relic site in low-sec has the frigate poking one of the containers, a little too far away for me to engage immediately. Not only that, but the other containers are spread widely apart, and if I am to hope to catch the Heron I'll need to get fairly close, which could be difficult to do crawling whilst cloaked.

Finding a Heron hacking in a low-sec relic site

I'll still give this ambush a crack, if only to remind pilots that low-sec can be dangerous. I pick a container arbitrarily and start moving towards it, hoping to get there before the Heron so that I can be in position for when he starts hacking. But the frigate is moving again, at a rate of knots too, when I'm still forty kilometres from the container. I doubt I'll reach the container before the Heron has cracked it, looted, and moved on again. I won't give up just yet, though.

The Heron's hacking beam activates on the container I'm heading towards, which should mean the pilot is suitably distracted. I can't tell for how long this will last, so should strike sooner rather than later. I decloak, get my micro warp drive burning, and activate my sensor booster. I get a positive lock on the Heron and start shooting when I am realistically too far away to get any decent hits. But the Heron is small and flimsy, I don't really need a good hit to rip it apart.

Popping the hacking Heron in low-sec

Miss, graze, hit. A glancing blow from my Loki strategic cruiser's autocannons is all that's needed to rend the armour and hull of the Heron, ejecting the pilot's pod in to space. I let the pod leave, remembering that I'm not in w-space, and my now-coasting MWD pulls me naturally in to looting range of the wreck. I grab what loot I can, although most is destroyed in the explosion, and move away, reload my guns, and cloak. It's not much, but that's okay. It's a decent opportunistic kill to start the evening.

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